Heading into New Orleans, Troy and I had 3 big goals – eat lots of delicious food, walk around the French Quarter and listen to Doreen Ketchens in person. Hailed as ‘Queen Clarinet’ and “The female Louis Armstrong,” Doreen does things with her clarinet that I didn’t even know were possible! I mean, New Orleans is known for it’s amazing jazz music, but I guarantee that you haven’t heard anything quite like Doreen’s music before.
Doreen and her band have traveled the world, played for 4 US Presidents and still continue to play in the French Quarter for free almost every weekend. Their main mission is to educate the world about the culture and tradition of New Orleans music. Of course, donations are always welcome or you can pick up a CD to listen to on your way home.
Our first attempt at finding Doreen and her band in the French Quarter was a complete bust. It wasn’t until we completely gave up that we just randomly happened upon her on Royal Street. Our timing was perfect! The band was just preparing for the show, which gave us time to get front row (sidewalk) seats and buy a couple of CDs for Troy’s partner at work. Then we settled in for an awesome show complete with dancing courtesy of the drunk homeless man who loved the limelight. He tried to make friends with everybody! It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Here is one of my favorite pieces:
What do you think of Doreen and her band? Did you know a clarinet could do that?!